I was directed here by a friend for advice about this problem.
My son just turned one on Wednesday. He and I have had a strong breastfeeding relationship from day one. Luckily, I have been able to stay home with him and nurse on demand. We started rice cereal when he seemed interested in our food—at about four months. He liked it then, but I didn't really push solids much until about six months. I would give him a little taste of things every few days, or even as little as every week or two. He seemed to like what I gave him, and he had no swallowing problems.
Then, at about six months, he stopped liking solids. He wouldn't eat any of the old foods he'd liked before (rice cereal, banana, applesauce), and he didn't like anything new we gave him. I was advised to wait until he was ready for solids by some. Others said I shouldn't "let him off the hook" and should try offering solids on a daily basis. Yet others suggested that he didn't like the texture of baby food and that he'd do better with finger foods. And finally others blamed the "bad taste" of the store-bought baby foods, saying that if I blended my own, he'd eat it.
I continued to offer a wide variety of foods: jarred baby foods, handmade baby foods, finger foods, little bits of what we were eating, everything. My son didn't like ANY of it. All he wanted was milk. And yes, usually I'd give up and let him nurse after several refusals because I didn't want to turn food into a power struggle.
At eight months, my son was 43rd percentile for weight. At nine, he had dropped to 17th. He just had his 12-month checkup, and now he's down to 6th. Basically, his weight has plateued over the last four months. He weighs under 20 pounds, even though his height and head circumference are normal for his age.
Today he eats maybe two tablespoons of solids a day. Maybe. It's hard to track because it's a Cheerio here and a noodle there. Definitely no fruits, and usually no vegetables.
I am going to start taking him to a speech therapist to help him learn to eat (hopefully), but if that doesn't work, the pediatrician suggested I try weaning him to force him to get hungry enough and eat something besides milk.
So, here are my questions:
1) Does the weaning idea sound as radical/bad to you as it does instinctively to me?
2) Do you have any tips for getting a very stubborn little boy to eat something other than my milk? I'm nursing 9–10 times a day, and as much as I love nursing, I'm getting tired of being his ONLY source of nutrition.
3) What does a one-year-old need, nutritionally, that breastmilk cannot satisfy (other than calories in my son's case)?